Gilas Women

No mercy: Gilas Girls annihilate Maldives by 123 in FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup opener

Martin Mendoza

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No mercy: Gilas Girls annihilate Maldives by 123 in FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup opener

SHOT. Gabriella Ramos in action for Gilas Girls in the 2024 FIBA U18 Women's Asia Cup.

FIBA

Nine players score in double digits for Gilas Girls as they kick off their FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup Division B campaign with a 123-point win over Maldives

MANILA, Philippines – Seeking to earn a promotion to Division A of the FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup, the Gilas Pilipinas U18 women’s team wasted no time asserting its dominance in Division B as it gave Maldives a 141-18 mauling on Monday, June 24, at the Futian Sports Park in Shenzhen, China. 

A total of nine players scored in double digits for Gilas Girls in the 123-point annihilation, with Margarett Villanueva and Jolzyne Impreso both matching Maldives’ total scoring output with 18 points each. 

Ashlyn Abong had 14 points, Sophia Canindo, Ava Fajardo, and Gabby Ramos produced 13 apiece, Tiffany Reyes added 12, Christina Lapasaran chipped in 11, while Naomi Panganiban contributed 10 for the Filipinas in their wire-to-wire opening day victory. 

Led by the trio of Canindo, Villanueva, and Impreso, Gilas Girls jumped out to an early 22-0 lead in the first four minutes of the contest, before finishing the opening period with a 43-11 cushion. 

Canindo scattered 9 of her 13 points in the first quarter, while Villanueva and Impresso unloaded 8 each.

Showing no mercy, the Filipinas – coached by Julie Amos – extended their lead to 79-14 at the halftime break, before allowing Maldives to score just 1 point in the third frame for a whopping 109-15 advantage at the start of the final frame.

Despite shooting just 12-of-43 from beyond the arc, Gilas Girls shot a healthy 42-of-73 clip from two-point area and an efficient 21-of-27 mark from the free throw line. 

The Philippines’ stifling defense forced Maldives to commit 53 turnovers and shoot a very low 6-of-46 field goal clip. 

Mariyam Sifan was the lone Maldives player to knock down more than one basket as she finished with a team-high 9 points on 3-of-9 shooting. 

The Philippines shoots for a 2-0 start in Group B when it collides with Lebanon on Tuesday, June 25, at 4:30 pm. 

The top two finishers from Groups A and B will advance automatically to the semifinals, while the second and third placers from each group will duke it out for the final two semifinal spots.

Only the winner of the tournament will move up to Division A, where it will join powerhouse squads Australia, China, and Japan, among others.

The Scores

Philippines 141 – Villanueva 18, Impreso 18, Abong 14, Canindo 13, Fajardo 13, Ramos 13, Reyes 12, Lapasaran 11, Panganiban 10, Rodriguez 8, Duenas 6, Quinte 5. 

Maldives 18 – Sifan 9, Nimal 3, Firash 3, Shameem 2, Zakariya 1, Sobah 0, Shujau 0, Simad 0, Thahseen 0, Ishag 0, Khuwailid 0, Shiham 0. 

Quarters: 43-11, 79-14, 109-15, 141-18.

– Rappler.com

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